Drink Shade Grown Coffee
The simplest way to find bird-friendly, shade-grown coffee is to look for certifications such as these:
But that's just a start. Because certifications can be expensive, many small shade-grown farmers and producers can't afford those labels. You can also research producers on the packaging and through their websites and those of other organizations. Look also for "Fair Trade" or "Farmer Friendly."
Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world (oil is the most-traded)! To raise enough coffee to satisfy a thirsty world requires space equal to the size of England (30 million acres). That has led to unnecessary destruction of rainforests and therefore a decline in habitats for migrating birds and other animals. In places where forests have been cleared for coffee plantations, 20% decline in migratory bird populations in the recent years.
Until the 1970s, all coffee was shade-grown. Mixed in with forests, shade-grown coffee plantations help to protect these critical habitats for a variety of species. So supporting bird-friendly, shade-grown coffee is actually a positive step to saving songbirds like those that migrate to Minnesota.
As a side benefit, shade grown coffee tastes better, has fewer to no chemical pesticides and fertilizers, and most likely also fairly supports farmers and producers all along the path to your cup.
Find out more at:
Coffee & Conservation
Migratory Bird Center
Ask! Ask your grocery store and your coffee shop if they sell bird-friendly or shade-grown coffee. Asking the question shows that you’re interested and may help them learn more and make a change.
Going still further? There are variations within shade-grown. Some is better for animals than others. The most desirable is “rustic” shade-grown. See Coffee & Conservation
for more information.